Carmelo Anthony will not always be a Denver Nugget. He will play for a different NBA team, maybe this season, definitely the season after that (whether that season would start in 2011 or 2021 is anyone’s guess). But regardless of what Adrian Wojnarowski tosses out there, anyone who believes that Anthony’s next team could possibly end up being the Golden State Warriors has learned nothing over the past 20 years, either about the team or the league they play in. Here are five reasons why you should stop dreaming of seeing LaLa Vasquez as an Oracle Arena mainstay:
Warriors don’t have the money
Pretend LaGuber already owned the team and could act quickly on this “Summer of Melo’s Discontent.” Which they can’t, but let’s pretend for the sake if discussion. Joe Lacob already said the Warriors wouldn’t go over the luxury tax. If Anthony was actually traded to the Warriors, it would come along with an agreement that a max extension would soon follow. Since the luxury tax is around $70M right now, that would mean a little less than a third of your payroll would be going to a small forward who needs to be protected defensively. That’s not much money to put together a team that would somehow be as good or better than the group that surrounded him the last couple seasons in Denver, unless we really think Stephen Curry and David Lee are that much better than Chauncey Billups and Nene.
They also don’t have the movable assets
To get Anthony it would take Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and a lot more. Multiple first round picks more, if even that wouldÂ be enough. David Lee can’t be traded for months even if the Warriors wanted to, and the Nuggets would probably demand Curry in any Anthony deal anyway. So we already know this trade isn’t happening before this post gets started. But since it’s either continue the Anthony storyline or go outside during a sunny Sunday, let’s pretend that the Nuggets get real excited over the Monta/Biedrins/#1’s combo…
Melo wants no part of being a Warrior (I know, I know, “Warriors” — sorry Monta)
Since NBA players haven’t had an original thought since Michael Jordan taught everyone it was noble to become your own personal corporation, superstars are going to follow the LeBron/Wade/Bosh blueprint until it’s proven to be ineffective. Chris Paul, Anthony and Amare Stoudemire already made it known that they’d like to form their own version of Heat-north in New York. Which, while unlikely still is possible since the Knicks’ location means they absolutely have to go over the luxury tax.
If the Warriors traded for Anthony, he wouldn’t have two established stars next to him. He’d have Curry and Lee, which might excite some people around here but probably doesn’t get Melo’s heart racing.
Do you really believe some struggling former VJ pulls any weight here?
The idea that LaLa Vasquez has anything to do with where Anthony goes seems like a stretch, especially the inference that the Warriors supposedly have an advantage because the money half of LaGuber is connected in the entertainment world. Vasquez and Anthony already have a volatile relationship that recently included Twitter hackers threatening a woman Vasquez already threatened on Twitter (or something); it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Vasquez falls so much in love with a future owner we know next to nothing about, she forces Melo to go to a team that’s been a perennial loser that he’d be expected to lead further than they’ve been since 1975. Does Anthony really seem like the kind of guy who’d let his wife dictate the terms of his career, anyway? Because that would make him different than any other supposed NBA superstar I’ve ever heard of.
Denver can’t jettison Melo off to whatever team they want
Technically Denver still can trade Anthony anywhere, but no team would dare take on an unhappy superstar — even if the qualities that make him a “superstar” consist mainly of efficient offense and outstanding marketing. This is the kind of league where Chris Webber was able to force a buyout from the Philadelphia 76ers when he didn’t even have any knees left. If you’re an established, well-known name in the NBA, you rarely have to do what you don’t want to. Anthony’s team of hangers-on presented a list of teams Anthony would go to. I’m guessing Wojnarowski isn’t privy to that list, which probably included teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Rockets and Lakers, not the Warriors and Bobcats. Denver doesn’t have to stick to that list, but in the end they will.
It’s understandable for Warriors fans to want Anthony, and hope against hope that he’d be willing to come to Oakland. New ownership, new uniforms, perhaps it’s finally time for the Warriors to shock the world by acquiring a star everyone knows, like when Peter Magowan and the Giants signed Barry Bonds. But the deck is stacked against the Warriors with this guy.
However, that may not be the worst thing in the world. Teams this bad don’t become title-contenders overnight. As impatient as we all are with the Warriors, and all the excuses about youth and injury issues are enough to make free pizza unappetizing, at this point the only logical thing to do is stay away from bad contracts (like the Lee deal), build around Curry and pray for a miracle during the next few draft lotteries.
The Warriors have never had a problem finding players who like to float around the perimeter and score loads of points, and that’s who Melo is. He isn’t Kevin Durant. Anthony’s reached his ceiling, and he’s the type of guy where if he’s your best player, you won’t win an NBA title.
While the NBA is a league where to win you absolutely must have elite guys to go along with your role players, Anthony isn’t the type of star who will change the Warriors’ fortunes. He’s the type of guy that would make them better, sure. More exciting, definitely. A 50-win team? Perhaps. But nothing more. If the Warriors already had Paul and Stoudemire (and Anthony Randolph, don’t forget), it would make more sense to give it a shot. But adding Anthony to a team that includes Curry, Lee and not much else? It isn’t just unrealistic, it isn’t worth the trouble.